“My father wanted me to run a stationery business store.” – George Lucas
“Of all the younger guys around, all the hot-shots, why me?” “Well, because you know everything a Hollywood director is supposed to know, but you're not Hollywood.” – George Lucas to Irvin Kershner, the man who directed Empire Strikes Back
George Lucas once referred to his friend Joseph Campbell as “my Yoda” and Campbell called Lucas “my best student.” But let’s get practical? Who was George? Where did he grow up? What happened to him that made Star Wars happen? As we’re about to see, it’s important to not only ask these simple questions, but find the answers.
What can you say about a guy who wanted Hollywood to let him fly a giant hairy dog across the galaxy? Well, what does George say?
From the examiner.com:
“In high school I lived to be a race car driver and I was in a very bad accident … Maybe there is a reason I survived this accident that nobody should have survived … I was hit broadside by a car that was going about 90 miles per hour …I should have been dead …”
Joseph Campbell would call this near-death experience falling into the belly of the whale. Overnight Lucas, keenly aware of his mortality, suddenly became obsessed with the meaning and the purpose of life. From moongadget.com:
[Lucas transformed] overnight from a “directionless loafer” into “the guy who always works harder than everyone else.” His convalescence left him little to do but read: mostly science fiction and comic books. Lucas has said that his accident came from his fascination with speed, and he explores that fascination in Star Wars, constantly searching for the balance point between presenting as much visual information as possible and incoherence.
When we are in the headspace of our lives, we take life at face value. We feel the solidity of the Earth beneath us, and that’s our reality. A near-death experience shakes the ground beneath our feet, and suddenly we find ourselves in a different world. All that we have, all that we are is impermanent, and may be lost in an instant. We see our existence for what it is: dark and fluid. And out of the ocean of our unconscious comes the beast, a dragon or a whale. Whether we break into fragments or are swallowed by the whale, or whether we kill the dragon power…whatever happens we must emerge from the watery subconscious reconstituted, resurrected...
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